Stereosonic founder explains why the festival was cancelled
This year’s Stereosonic was probably cancelled because of parent company SFX’s financial problems, says festival founder and former co-owner Frank Cotela, who left the business in 2013.
In an interview with triple j’s Hack that will air in full this evening, Cotela says that he thinks the 2016 hiatus doesn’t have anything to do with drugs or ticket sales. “Interest in dance music in Australia is quite strong,” he told Hack. “I think it’s been impacted by the financial situation in the US.”
SFX purchased Stereosonic in 2013 for $75 million, but this year the U.S. company filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a year of financial struggle. At the time, Stereosonic founders said they would not be affected by the move, which allowed SFX to wipe $300 million of debt and continue to operate as normal. But SFX-owned festival TomorrowWorld soon after announced that it would not return in 2016 and SFX is currently in the process of selling off assets like Beatport.
Cotela’s also dismissed claims that a pair of drug-related deaths at Stereosonic’s 2015 edition is behind the festival’s hiatus.
In a post to his Facebook page today, the festival founder has also highlighted the impact that losing a major festival has on the local scene. “[It] means sadly also gone are another 100+ local and international artist slots per city…production companies downsizing, collection society pools getting smaller for rights owners, 600 or so people that work on festivals per city out of a job,” he wrote. “The list goes on and on.”
Read Frank Cotela’s post below and tune into Hack this evening to hear his full interview.